Brook targets 2017 return after orbital surgery

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Former welterweight world titleholder Kell Brook has had surgery on his broken left orbital bone and said Wednesday that he wants to return to the boxing ring before the end of the year.

Brook suffered the broken eye socket and lost his world title in an 11th-round knockout loss to Errol Spence Jr. on May 27 while fighting at home in Sheffield, England, before a wild crowd of 27,000 at Bramall Lane stadium.

The surgery, which took place Friday, was not as complicated as the one he had on his right orbital bone in the fall, Brook said.

“I spoke to the surgeon, and he said that the operation was a big success and simpler than the last one,” Brook said. “It took half the time of the first one and there’s very little swelling and it looks great. The last scan I had revealed that the healing has started really well and the bone already looks strong, so I expect to make a full recovery and I want to fight again in 2017.”

It was the second fight in a row in which the 31-year-old Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) suffered the same injury. He suffered a broken orbital bone around his right eye that needed surgery following a fifth-round knockout loss to unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin in September in London. Brook, who had no luck finding a marquee welterweight opponent, had moved up two weight classes to challenge Golovkin.

Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), who was Brook’s mandatory challenger, fractured Brook’s orbital bone in the seventh round, but Brook continued to fight. He was knocked down in the 10th round, and when the injury became too severe, Brook took a knee and was counted out in the 11th round of a fight in which he was behind on all three scorecards.

“I was bitterly disappointed by the loss at Bramall Lane,” said Brook, who hopes to fight this winter. “Losing my belt was gutting, but I’m glad I accepted to fight Spence and helped be part of an event that Sheffield will remember and be proud of.

“I still feel that I have a massive future in the sport. I will talk to my team in the coming weeks about what we can do next, and I am looking to get back into camp this summer.”

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